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COMCEC Poverty Outlook 2019



Poverty Status in the World and the OIC Member Countries

The basic definition of poverty is "the inability of [an individual to possess] sufficient resources to

satisfy [his or her] basic needs."


The definition and range of basic needs depend on the place and

time, or even the source of the definition. Hence, there are several ways to investigate the poverty

levels of the countries. One of the most frequently used methods is to define poverty in monetary

terms, like the US$1.90 a day poverty line of the World Bank


or the value of a minimum calorie

requirements. Another frequently used method is to investigate poverty relatively by examining

the income level of the population, such as 60 percent of the median income level like the Eurostat

utilizes. Poverty is a complicated phenomenon that goes beyond the monetary terms. From this

standpoint, poverty arises not only when people have inadequate income, but also when they lack

key capabilities or education, have poor health or insecurity, or when they experience the absence

of rights.


In this sense, poverty is also investigated in non-monetary terms from a

multidimensional viewpoint. The widely used non-monetary poverty indices are Human

Development Index, Multidimensional Poverty Index, and Global Hunger Index.


In this section, the poverty situation in the World and in the OIC member countries will be

examined in both monetary and non-monetary terms. As the first aspect, poverty will be

investigated in monetary terms by examining GDP per capita levels and poverty headcount ratios

at US$1.90 a day, (this level is the most prevalent method that is used to reveal the extreme

poverty). As the second aspect, poverty will be investigated in non-monetary terms by looking at

Human Development and Multidimensional Poverty indices as well as state of hunger (state of

food deficiency and Global Hunger Index values) for the countries. However, the human

development performance of OIC will be elaborated in more detail in a separate section, namely

in Section 2. The state of poverty in the OIC member countries will be analyzed with respect to

the four income groups defined by the World Bank.


Poverty Status in the World


Monetary Poverty

In 2018, while the world's average GDP per capita PPP was $17,914, the average was $50,542 for

high income countries, $19,005 for upper-middle income countries, $7,629 for lower-middle

income countries and $2,257 for low income countries


(Figure 1)

. These numbers imply deep

income discrepancies between countries.


Fields 1994: 3.


The World Bank updated international poverty line in 2015. The previous poverty line was US$1.25.


Haughton and Khandker, 2009:2.


See Annex 1 for the explanation of the mentioned indices.


See Annex 4.